Crowdsource Reporting


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My 3/5/12 Discussion with students at the Harvard Kennedy School about my experience with crowdsourcing story content with web based tools for two public media projects, one covering the effects of the economic crisis in 2009 from an NYC perspective, the other a call for stories about the current gay rights movement.

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Crowdsource Reporting

  1. 1. Harvard Kennedy SchoolDigital Communications Workshop:Crowdsourced Reporting (Storytelling from multiple vantage points) Annie Shreffler Digital Producer, WGBH #crowdsourcing @annieshreff
  2. 2. What’s crowdsourcing, anyway? City of Toronto Archives, archival citation Fonds 1568, Item 177
  3. 3. Jeff Howe coined the term “crowdsourcing” at WIRED magazine:
  4. 4. Since Howe’s article, the concept of crowdsourcing has fostered hundreds of variations of social collaboration. May 2006 Google search for “crowdsourcing”: 3 resultsHowe’s WIRED article in June 2006 changes that to to 182,000 results Latest Google search for “crowdsourcing”: ~ 10,500,000 results
  5. 5. Covering the2008 Electionwith citizenreporters
  6. 6. Early Crowdsourcing Experiments WNYC Radio’s The Brian Lehrer Show “How Many SUV’s on Your Block?”Comparing the cost of groceries acrossNYC prompted a City Hall investigation Producer: Jim Colgan  Timely  Personal  Easy to Respond
  7. 7. Your UncommonEconomic Indicators WNYC Radio 2008 -2009 New York Metro Region“What signs of economic crisis do you see in yourneighborhood, on your street?” Timely Personal Easy to Respond 833 Stories 22 Videos/260 Photos 31 Show SegmentsAudio promos and the tag line “Bringing you uncommon economic coverage”
  8. 8. Scanning entries for trends
  9. 9. January 2010
  10. 10. Community1. A group with joint ownership or liability, unified by common interests2. A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing commonattitudes, interests and goalsCrowdsourcing is based on the notion thatworking together we can accomplish a large goal.Crowdsourcing a story builds a sense ofcommunity among those in a news organizationand the participating audience.
  11. 11. Text
  12. 12. LONGSHOT Print Magazine and Radio Collaborators across the U.S. convened, in person and online, to create a magazine in 48 hours 672 submissions / 68-page print publication 40 visitors to a “Story Corps on steroids” booth set up at the McNally Bookstore Producers & editors sign up to help from Baltimore to Berlin The Ask: We want submissions ranging from 140 characters to 4,000 words. Please send us your strongly reported narratives, design fictions, interviews, data visualizations, cartoons, family portraits, how-to guides, maps, obscure histories, recipes, war reporting, photo-essays, blueprints, ships’ logs, scientific papers, charticles, wood cuts, curio boxes, product reviews, and box scores.JUL 29–31 2011 #02 Long Shot Radio Showcase
  13. 13. Some advice from thought leaders onworking with the crowd:
  14. 14. Amanda Michel: Mobilize Your Audience Pro-Am Journalism Ground-level access Networked intelligence Distributed labor Respect for journalistic standards Objectivity replaced by transparency Amanda Michel Director of Distributed Reporting at ProPublica creator of Huffington Post’s OffTheBus “The timing for a new social contract between the press and the public could not be better. There will be no reason to mourn the loss of its audience if the press fully understands and exploits the new reality that its audience can now be its ally.”
  15. 15. Jeff Jarvis: Embrace change news delivery is changing new models are created every day some might actually stick Text you can’t stop the technology people are taking news into their own hands CUNY J-School Prof Jeff Jarvis photo credit: Christopher Wink
  16. 16. Clay Shirky: Work Together “[In the 20th Century], news was something we got.” Now a news organization can act as a site of coordination, “finding the people who care about a story and helping them take action together.” “People will work  together if you have the  perfect mix of promise,  effective tool and good  Clay Shirky, Writer & Lecturer bargain, in terms of time.”  author of Here Comes Everybody
  17. 17. Alan Rusbridger: See the power in numbers Openness is shorthand for the way in which the vast majority of part of a larger network, only a tiny portion of which is created by journalists. By collaborating...we can be infinitely more powerful than if we believe we have to generate it all ourselves. Alan Rusbridger Editor of The Guardian
  18. 18. Thank you! Annie Shreffler #crowdsourcing @annieshreff “More on Crowdsource Reporting”